Dan and Micki Take Florida 2.0

I had a lot that didn’t end up fitting in my last post about Florida, so I figured I would make another!

While on our trip, our grandmother took the two of us to Universal Orlando as neither of us had been before—and we are huuuuuugge Harry Potter nerds!  We really wanted to do Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, so we bought the park-to-park tickets.  This allowed us to take the Hogwarts express back and forth too!

When we first arrived at Universal Orlando, we went to Universal’s “Islands of Adventure” park, which houses The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Hogsmeade.  The first thing we did was the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride, which takes you through Hogwarts castle.  You join Harry on a journey facing giant spiders, a dragon, dementors, and more!  It was a 3D/4D ride which was really fun.  I did not, however, enjoy the spiders.

Hogwarts Castle

Hogwarts Castle

Next, Michelle and I did the “Flight of the Hippogriff” ride.  It was fun, but incredibly short.  I don’t think I would wait in line for that one again.

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G’ma and I in Honeydukes

We then went and did some of the shops in Hogsmeade.  We went to Honeydukes candy shop, where we each had a fancy treat.  Michelle had mint chocolate fudge, while G’ma and I each had a “cauldron cake”.  It’s like a cupcake, with about six different types of chocolate and shaped like a mini cauldron—mini handle and 3 rounded feet too!  Afterwards, Michelle and I rode the “Dragon Challenge” roller coaster.  It was really cool because you actually get to pick either red—the Chinese Fireball—or blue—the Hungarian Horntail—to ride.  The ride is comprised of two coasters that go at the same time.  We chose the blue Hungarian Horntail.  Next time, I’d like to try the red Chinese Fireball.

 

The three of us then hopped on the Hogwarts Express to head over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Diagon Alley in “Universal Studios”.  The train was really cool and didn’t take very long.

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About to ride the Hogwarts Express

Arriving in Diagon Alley, via King’s Cross Station, you see the Knight Bus in the street and enter through secret passages in the wall.  It was super cool.  I absolutely loved Diagon Alley.  It really captured the feel of Harry Potter.  I honestly felt like a first year student going to Diagon Alley to buy all my school necessities for the first time.  It was amazing!

We went into as many shops as we could and explored all the sights, including Knockturn Alley.

The dragon on top of Gringotts

The dragon on top of Gringotts

The three of us rode the “Escape from Gringotts” ride, another 3D/4D ride.  I LOVED this one.  I would say that this was my favourite HP ride.  I wish we could have done this one again.  The ride was so much fun and the 3D effects were amazing!

We then went into Ollivanders, where my G’ma was actually chosen as the one for the interactive wand selection.  She ended up buying her wand—because the wand chose her.  Michelle and I then took our sweet time looking at all the wands.  I kept picking up the same wand—one made of ash—so I figured it was meant to be.  Michelle kept picking up the same one too, so she ended up getting that one.

About to get our wands!

About to get our wands!

We then continued exploring Diagon Alley.  When we got hungry, we took the Hogwarts Express back to Hogsmeade.  We entered Jurassic Park and ate at the Burger Digs.  After lunch, we explored more of the Islands of Adventures park.  We really wanted to do the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride, but the end is like a log flume so you end up getting soaked.  We didn’t want to be soaking wet for the rest of the day, so we skipped that one—which is sad, because the ride looked awesome.

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G’ma, Me, Michelle–About to be eaten by a dinosaur!

Michelle and I then rode the “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” ride, another 3D/4D ride.  The waiting line was actually the most terrifying part.  They had a lot of creepy stuff in the line, including men dressed as the cannibal people from the island who hid in these dark crevices and jumped out at people.  Terrifying!

Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy, Hoggy, Hogwarts!

Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy, Hoggy, Hogwarts!

As it was getting late (7:30ish), we headed back to Hogsmeade to ride “The Forbidden Journey” again and do a bit more shopping.  We bought our mom and dad matching “Have you seen this wizard?” shirts with Sirius Black on them.  We also bought ourselves chocolate frogs (which are massive).  Michelle got Albus Dumbledore’s card and I got Godric Gryffindor.  Michelle and I bought matching quidditch team captain shirts—mine for Slytherin and hers for Ravenclaw, our respective houses.  I also bought a Slytherin scarf, which I have been coveting for years!

When we were done with our shopping, we headed out of the park to go back home.  It was a long, but incredibly fun day.  I would love to go to Universal again!

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